I love words.

All I would like to do is read and write for hours and hours.

About anything. It could be newsy or poetic or reflective. It doesn’t matter; I just love the power of words and what they can do for your own mind and soul, let alone the influx of ideas given to other people once you share them.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so captivated by the ideas of social media and real life friendship coming together. I’ve met some cool kids here on Tumblr and exchanged phone numbers with them so we can encourage each other & laugh at each other’s oddities.

I miss having the time to be a little more expressive on here. Ironically, I browse Tumblr the most while I’m at work. But I do miss being more active here.

In lieu of writing an extended reflection

Brief insights from 2012.

I lost a dear friend. I doubt that friend realizes how deeply it pained me to let them go, even as I write this and they likely read it.

I saw Matt Nathanson, fun. (twice), Imagine Dragons, Greg Laswell, Ingrid Michaelson, Young The Giant, The Wailers, Wilco and Mumford & Sons in concert. All incredible musicians, but fun. was by far the most, well, fun.

I ran eight races this year. Yep, eight. Three 5Ks, a 10K, 4.4-miler, 5-miler, half marathon and full marathon. Completing that marathon was the apex of this year. Easily one of the top 5 accomplishments of my life. Hopefully my body cooperates and lets me do another one this coming year so I can shatter the time I got this year!

I gained beautiful friendships this year, some simply by bumping into an acquaintance at a concert, others by methodical meetups and group gatherings. Very thankful for those.

I started dating a girl from work, which was a risk and still is (in a different sense than when we started), but she’s delightful and sweet and a wonderful companion.

Most of all, I took some time for introspection to see what was really at work behind some of my actions, words, thought processes and relationships. A methodical unraveling of your every day life is rarely welcome, but rarely do we welcome the necessary. This year was a year of examining my inner workings and being honest with myself. It’s been a hard habit to break - deceiving myself - but when the honest answers come out, they are always helpful in the long run. Certainly something to keep in mind for this coming year.

Next year will hold all of its own intricacies, losses, gains, experiences, moments of serenity, chaos, sorrow and peace…and I can’t wait to experience all of it.

Happy New Year, kids!

I feel the need. The need to open my eyes again, stare widely at the sky and breathe deeply of the air gifted to my lungs. I feel the need to let the words pour from my fingertips, loosed from the dam behind my mind where they churn. Words float inside of me like a sneeze, unable to be contained for much longer than a few seconds. I rush to the ink and paper to let them fly haphazardly across the page, a crazed mess of thought and reason and desire and longing and mess mess mess.

I feel the need to live again.

New habits

I’m on Day 2 of using Facebook less. While I don’t want to stop using it altogether, it’s not worth it to be overwhelmed with checking it all the time.

So, I’ve decided to back off using it as much and exercise some self control from now until the end of this month. Hopefully the habit sticks and it’ll lead to me using the resulting time more constructively.

I choose to be present in my own life today.

I like to point out double standards

It’s like it’s my job.

Say one thing, do another. Do as I say, not as I do.

Show a controversial picture and say how awful it is to be made public, then make it more public by showing it 15 more times in the space of 20 minutes.

My parents. My siblings. My friends. My co-workers. Exes. Teachers. Government leaders. Enemies. Nations.

But I’m full of them too. I’m a walking, talking contradictory of a mess.

And I need to be nudged smacked and reminded of that every day. Aren’t we all just walking double standards of hidden truths for the sake of convenience and piousness? We are.

We all wake up in the morning, go to the breakfast table and immediately think of something someone else is doing and laud ourselves for not making the same choices.

But how do we know we wouldn’t make the same choice? We very well could have. We judge, but we too are hypocrites. We are in no place to do cast our judgement over others like a dirty blanket. It’s a daily burden to bear, to not judge lest you be judged. Let him without fault cast the first stone.

Show some mercy. Judge less for a start. It’s a good place to begin.

Everyone has a story

While walking along the Niagara River today, I passed by the Falls on the way back to my car. About a half mile beyond the Falls was a large building that housed a power complex. It was large, beautiful and about a century old - stacked with Roman columns, wind-whipped pillars and threads of desperately-clinging moss that wore themselves into the exterior.

Since I was by myself, I wandered over to the low stone wall between the river and the plant. The railing itself had a stone plank about a foot across and 30 yards long with scores of names furrowed into it. Several of them caught my eye, including this one:

I wonder what became of the couple. How long ago had they come here?
Were they local or had they come on their honeymoon?

Judging by the size of the grooves and the wearing of the stone, it’s at least a decade old. If they’re still together, do they have children?
And where are they living?
If they’re not together, are they happy without each other or not?
Do they think of each other in fleeting thought and despise the day they carved their names here?
Did one marry another person and walk along these same banks only to come to this same spot and see their name of their former lover alongside their own and feel a twinge of sadness for a parallel life that could have been?

And just to think, this is one of dozens, possibly even hundreds of names scrawled into this single stretch of stone. So many stories with so many outcomes it staggers the mind to even begin to comprehend what is and what could have been and what will be down the line for each of these people who stood exactly where I stood a day, 8 weeks, 2 years, 15 years, 3 decades ago.

What a world we live in.

The scent of incense smoke brings me back to you
Drifting into your bed like a sickened child
Eyes black and filled with sorrow like the down comforter draped over us
Soul wafting away from mind
Lost in the darkened ripples of your hair as they loop around your ears
Let the sound of washing waves swallow us
And pull me out to sea for a reunion of bones & light

Sitting here.

Next to…

this.

Is.

Entirely too awkward.

So much space but so much emotional proximity. At the same time. You are a bridge to a time I can’t forget and don’t wish to. You are a bridge that can’t feel the crossing because you are aware but so unaware at how deeply my soles trod on your planks, taking step after cautious, painful step until I’ve crossed the threshold into the past moments. Of regret. Of laughter. Of giggling and tickling and drives with the windows down. Songs & light & dark & breath & absence. Broken hearts and crudely-fashioned Band-Aids made from emotions instead of truth. Lies. Lies I told you. Lies I told myself. Make believe I’m not here. Push down because it’s easier to suppress it like a pillowcase over the muzzle of a Howitzer. Keep me at an arm’s length because I don’t deserve you again. Nor should we attempt to begin again.

Let me dance backward with my silly walk, repelling on hinds feet to a place where our eyes cannot meet. Where my feet cannot touch the bridge I cross over as I sit here. As I struggle to accept the forgiveness you give and You give. Allow me another joke to force a chuckle from the shallow chamber of your lungs so that the laugh will soothe this soul rubbed raw by a loss you cannot sate.

Resolution: 2006

At the end of our high school careers, each student was asked to submit a “will” of what they would give to their fellow classmates and students who would remain behind. The idea was to leave experiences, memories and future wishes to the people you spent time with. Then you could also write a quote, people you admired, where you’d like to be in 10 years and a wish for yourself in the future.

I’ve forgotten nearly all of what I’ve written, save a few sentence fragments here and there. But the one sentence I remember writing very clearly was the wish for myself in the future.

To make at least one person smile every day.

That’s all. It didn’t have to do with wealth, visiting all 50 states, as many countries as I could, being a millionaire by 30 or anything material. All I wanted was to make sure a simple measure of Joy was passed on from one soul to another in the space of a day. That remains to this day.

It doesn’t matter if it’s through a text, an email, a look, a silly face, a smart remark, a well-timed smile, a song, a letter or shared memory. I will always do my utmost to share the Joy I have been given with each and every person who comes into contact with me. Even the ones who bring me none. That’s the hard part. But I will still do my best.

A little bit of everything we see/hear/taste/love in life from a 25-year-old dork from New York.